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Sunday, April 12, 2020

[Doctor Who Review] 12.9 Ascencion of the Cybermen

Angry Old Man

With the ending of "Haunting", I was again excited about a story that continued the plot line with the Cybermen. Final part of the mid-season Marathon...

Intro with a voice over... Yawn.

Then the Doctor and the companions again meet more people they will travel with. The new forgettable NPCs explain they are escapees trying to escape the Cybermen and they have no weapons (of course). One element that made me smile is that the Doctor and companion set up anti-Cybermen weapons that are based on classic episode such as their allergy to gold.

The Cybermen led by the rusted one from "Haunting" is back and he attacks the trash heap with two others. I would've expected the Cybermen to move in with overwhelming numbers: why send three when a hundred will do the job?

The weapons/defenses are completely useless, are swept away in a second - took more time to set them up and explain them than to rid of them. Again, like the rest of the season, instead of taking some time to give us a reason to care/learn about the red shirt NPCs, we go right into action. So when the NPCs die, I just couldn't care. This would've been a good opportunity to give them a personality, a reason for survival, and skills. Have the defenses force out the Cybermen while the crew interacts with the NPCs instead of the predictable deaths.

Then we have a convoluted plot where the crew travels to a place where they can reach safety with the NPCs. We're not really sure WHY this would send them to safety or even what it is. I'm fine to sit through because I expect this to be a lead-in to the finale.

Eventually the Doctor reaches the boundary where some dude shows her it leads to Gallifrey. Immediate mixed feelings.

- There are three active Cybermen but two shuttles... Why? Oh yeah! To give the Doctor a way to escape.

- A number of events happen I do not quite get: why did the Rusty One saw the Cybermen when they should obey their leader. This is something I expect will lead to a lot of speculation. Is Rusty a Cyberman made with non-human stock? Like a Time Lord?

- The Irish side plot is clearly a set-up which I hope we will know where this leads later (in the next episode).

- The appearance of the Master at the end did not fill me with joy, I groaned. Just feels like more people sharing the screen and crowding the screen even more.

In all, this episode is one that sets up the season's climax and about as many subplots happen as an episode of early Game of Thrones. So I asked myself, "How do you rate your enjoyment?" and I settled on a 3. I expected more but the issues did not detract from my enjoyment.

Would I re-watch? Maybe (not a definite no).

Rating: 3/5

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